Centre of the Cell is the first informal science education centre in the world to be located within working biomedical research laboratories. Following a £550,000 refurbishment, the centre is now re-launching its digital immersive STEM Pod with new, state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, including an exciting visual experience, the ‘orchestra of you’, inspired by the rhythms of the human body.

The new resources bring to life recent scientific advances, will inspire children and young people to learn more about cell biology and medical research, and potentially choose a future career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The refurbishment was funded by an investment of £438,000 from Queen Mary University of London. LifeArc contributed an additional £100,000 to its refurbishment, specifically for the orchestra of you’ exhibit which uses innovative projection mapping techniques.

The support for Centre of the Cell is one part of LifeArc’s wider STEM engagement and outreach programme which also includes supporting M44, the charity run by Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, partnering with the Cambridge Science Centre and regular engagement at university and school job fairs across the UK.

Stéphane Maikovsky, Interim CEO of LifeArc, said: “LifeArc is proud to support the refurbishment of the Centre of the Cell to help bring to life the fascinating world of science and technology for children and young people. It is something we truly value because inspiring the next generation of scientists and innovators is key to tackling major challenges in healthcare such as developing cures for conditions like motor neuron disease, or Alzheimer’s, or re-thinking how we can use our own immune systems to target diseases like cancer. We need more people studying science to make a difference.”

Professor Fran Balkwill OBE, FMedSci, Director of Centre of the Cell, said: “Our aim at Centre of the Cell is always to excite, inform, and stimulate dialogue about biomedical research amongst children, young people, and families and to inspire the next generation of biomedical scientists and clinicians. Thanks to the investments made by Queen Mary and by Life Arc, these new exhibits will help us tell the story of cells and the latest research in ways that are stimulating and fun.”

Professor Sir Mark Caulfield FMedSci, Vice Principal for Health for Queen Mary University of London’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, said: “This transformative upgrade of the Centre of the Cell will excite many more young people about a future career in science and healthcare and is key to our ambition to be the most inclusive university anywhere and open the doors to opportunity”.

You can read more about the Centre of the Cell and its refurbishment on the Centre of the Cell website.